I've been using the copper slug in a Red Dragon S-500 and a titanium slug in a Bel Canto DAC 2.8 for 4 days now, perhaps up to 6 hrs per day and the sound has really transformed. Initially, the sound with the slugs in place of the stock fuses was noticeably better but hard to quantify. Images had more body to them and the sound was a bit smoother but not by much and there was another quality I just could not quite apprehend.
Listening late last night and this evening I'm better able to determine what quality I've been hearing as it has become more clear to me now. My system, already quite detailed, isn't really any more resolving than with the stock fuses but, apparently the fuses smear the fine inner detail and, what I'm hearing now, is that detail clearly. A good example are the tabla or other small hand struck drums. I've heard them many times in selections from Dead Can Dance and it always sounded more like an oscillation than a series of very quick drum strikes. With the slugs in place, I could finally clearly hear each individual strike of the drum---CLEARLY.
Similarly, each sound was clearly defined in its own space with that always present smearing finally gone. I was listening to a lot of ambient last night from Steve Roach, O Yuki Conjugate, and Randy Grief and I could REALLY hear each individual sound in its precise location. It truly was like hearing this very familiar music re-recorded on a higher resolution format, like what I had been expecting when I bought into SACD and DVD-A but they had not quite delivered.
Thanks for all the recommendations. Safety would dictate I now invest in audiophile fuses and maybe I will and maybe I won't. I just can't imagine they will sound better than this without a BIG investment, if at all. And even then, does a $500-600 fuse in a $2000 amp make sense? As for those of you telling me I'm being ridiculous or stupid, c'est la vie . I bet my stereo sounds better than yours!